Both earned the scorn of the writers they betrayed, but at least Ellen made some gesture of solidarity by foregoing the monologue entirely. Leno, on the other hand—being the very giant-chinned embodiment of American can-do spirit—simply pushed up his blazer sleeves and wrote his monologues himself.
Being a WGA member, however, this was a direct violation of Guild guidelines, eliciting this terse wrist-slapping from the union: "A discussion took place today between Jay Leno and the Writers Guild to clarify to him that writing for The Tonight Show constitutes a violation of the Guilds' strike rules."
It's understood that the guild has brought disciplinary proceedings against Leno, who is a Writers Guild of America member and writer for his NBC latenighter. The specifics of the proceedings are unclear, but the process should come to a head soon. [...]
That discipline may include "expulsion or suspension from guild membership, imposition of monetary fines or censure," according to the WGA's strike rules. There is also an appeals process.
We suspect this is more symbolic gesture than disciplinary measure—a premonitory, three-day-old carp wrapped in newsprint and left on the hood of one of Leno's old-timey gangster cars, as if to say, "Congratulations on the 10 p.m. strip, Leno. Now keep our guilded gag writers knee-deep in Funny Headlines, or Stuttering John sleeps with the fishes."